Posts Tagged ‘Shadow Period’

The Balance

January 21, 2011

Oh, so many dimensions to keep in balance, all the time!  For the next week or so, our balancing act revolves around Expansion and Contraction, with the emphasis on the latter.  You can play with this using your Muscles – have a “look” to see whether your Muscles are expanded (relaxed) or contracted (tight) – your sphincter, gluteus, and jaw Muscles are great places to “look” (feel, actually, but that word has sooo many meanings and connotations!), cuz they measure your stress level.  Knowing your stress level, and acting to relax it, can add years to your life.

Dunno about you, but I was programmed to believe that Expansion is better than Contraction.  But yer Muscles are a good example of the contrary – by and large, it’s their Contraction that does useful work.  You can see stress that way too – as Hans Selye put it, it’s “eustress” – positive stress – that does useful work.  The “labor of love” kinda thing, where yer working yer butt off and loving every minute of it.  And by and large, Expansion feels a lot better than Contraction.  That’s what alcohol does for us, it makes us feel expanded, and that feels good.  Some of us, particularly those of us who were programmed to believe we had worth only to the extent that we served others, can hardly stand to feel contracted.  We hate having to draw a Boundary.

The poster child for Contraction is Saturn, which is standing still this week.  Even more than when a planet is outabounds, a planet’s influence is strongest when it’s stationary.  So we’ll all be feeling the urge to contract.  Lemme digress for a minute to a quote from Pam Montgomery’s Plant Spirit Healing

“When we tell ourselves how we are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or not worthy enough, we begin to wage an internal war that destroys life.  It is this internal warring that can cause imbalance, lead to depression, and contribute to illness.”

So often, so many of us respond to Saturn that way.  But that’s not what Saturn is about, it’s what our programming is about.  So Saturn events are always a big opportunity to turn our entire life around, by becoming conscious of this kind of programming, so we can respond to it consciously and lovingly.

Saturn asks us to focus, to concentrate.  It usually asks us to give up on all of our Plan B fallbacks, and put all of our energy into Priority #1.  That’s always scary, cuz our Plan Bs keep us safe from the possibility that we may not be “good enough” to make a success of Priority #1.  Saturn’s always a test, but if we recognize that it’s just trying to pull the best out of us, it doesn’t have to be negative.  In fact, it’s enormously positive – it’s half of life, when we look at life as the dance balancing Expansion and Contraction.

Now, if Saturn is lit up and the Planet is exploring Contraction, does this mean we need to contract along with it, or that we need to expand to compensate?  Well, that’ll be different for each of us and probably different for each realm of our life, and if we experience this question as a dilemma, it just tells us we’re too much in the mind.  Whenever we aren’t sure whether to choose heads or tails, we need to choose the coin.  Life is not binary, and the Universe is not binary.  It’s the mind that’s binary, that thrives on contradistinctions and oppositions.  Never let an Either/Or question slow you down – train yourself to detect the Stop, and switch to Both/And instantly.

Often we experience Expansion in the Fourth Chakra, and Contraction in the Third.  That’s an easy dichotomy to “fix” – we need to keep all of our Chakras open evenly!  We all love to think everything will be wonderful if we just live in the Heart all the time – it feels great to be in love!  But that’s precisely when we need good Boundaries most.  And many of us love that steely feeling of Nobody messes with me! that we get by empathizing with those hardass supercompetent movie heroes and antiheroes – John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandra Bullock, The Incredibles.  But it’s Both/And.

Next time you get angry or need to set a Boundary, see how it feels to open your Fourth Chakra just as much as you open your Third.  Next time you’re feeling in love or need to express Gratitude, see how it feels to open your Third Chakra just as much as you open your Fourth.  You prolly wanna practice this first in non-critical situations, before you try it when you’re in a job interview or proposing to somebody, cuz for most of us it’ll feel pretty weird for a while, till we get good at it.  First time I ever tried it I was bathed in sweat!  Fortunately, it was during a difficult telephone conversation, so I didn’t have to explain my diaphoresis!

I used to run on a three-mile hilly dirt path through the woods and meadows, six or seven loops at a time.  It always took about a loop and a half of conscious effort before the endorphins set in and made the rest effortless.  Then one day I ran when Saturn was stationary.  It was conscious effort all twenty miles!  I kept expecting the endorphins to click in any minute, but they never did.

On Saturday (January 22, at 9am PST), Jupiter goes back into Aries after backtracking into Pisces.  I’m sure you remember back in early June, when Uranus and Jupiter entered Aries in tandem.  We labeled that a huuuge New Download from your Soul Chord.  Not to be too simple-minded about it, in July both of them turned around, and went back into Pisces, giving us the opportunity to clean up any unfinished business that our Old Identity may have left hanging about.  They turned and went direct again in November, and they’ve been steaming back toward Aries since.  On Saturday Jupiter crosses the line.  Uranus dallies till mid-March, so we aren’t completely done with our Old Business, but we should be feeling a jolt of exhilarating freedom on Saturday, as our New Self expands.

“Should” that is, because we may have to look for it, if the Saturn Energy dominates.  Saturn stands still on Tuesday (January 25), at 10pm PST, and the Moon crosses Saturn a little before 9pm PST on Monday January 24, so the Energy may be strong earlier.  You could feel like a giant tack, as if a giant thumb was trying to push you into the ground.  No worries, just knuckle down and pay attention to what’s most important.  Just focus on one thing, and let go of the rest.  You might have to negotiate with yourself to figure out what’s most important, but if you do, that just says it’s essential work you’ve been putting off too long.  If you start negotiating now, you’ll be ahead.

Be careful to distinguish between what’s most important to you, and what’s most important to someone else to whom you usually give your power.  Don’t exclude the possibility that pleasing someone else may well be the most important thing in your life at this juncture – that’s perfectly valid.  But you wanna be conscious of making that choice, and you wanna be conscious of any jealousy you or someone else may have about that, and deal with it using your newfound skill of keeping Both your Third And your Fourth Chakra open equally.  If you have to do that verbally, you prolly wanna keep your Fifth and First Chakras open just as much as well!  In any difficult negotiation, Manganotantalite is your best friend.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to live most of your life with all of your Chakras open equally!?!?

I find that it’s far more important to know when a planet is standing still, than to know whether it’s “stationary retrograde” (about to go backwards) or “stationary direct” (about to go forwards).  The more sensitive you are to the Energy, the longer the time when you’ll feel the Station.  I usually feel an outer-planet Station (like Saturn) for about a week, prior to the Station.  Then once the planet starts to move again, the sensation drops off quickly.  You can dig yourself a hole by failing to recognize that a Station is happening, attributing the feeling to some aspect of your life, and making decisions accordingly.

For instance, Saturn may be asking me to tighten up a Boundary a little with a friend.  But if I don’t know Saturn is acting up, I might blame my feelings on my friend, say so, and create a lot of unnecessary havoc, maybe even losing the friend.  The most important thing could just have been tidying up my relationships.  I might indulge in I hate this job thoughts, give them unwarranted credence, and make a decision to quit, which could subject me to unnecessary hardship afterwards, when I discover that there aren’t any better jobs to be had.  The most important thing may just have been adjusting my attitude, or getting along with someone when I was stuck in Either/Or with them and their values, or seeking a profession that I enjoy doing.

If we’re conscious of any astrological event, the Energy drops off quickly after the event.  If we aren’t conscious, our decisions can extend the Energy indefinitely.  A classic example is the 9/11 trauma.  The nasty Saturn-Pluto Energy that prompted 9/11 was finished by the Summer of 2002.  But George II and his Lizardly cronies, for their own political purposes, exploited the Energy to meet their own ends, and we’re still suffering the consequences.  Wouldn’t you rather it was your love partner or your fantasy lover that’s feeling you up?  It was another King George that presided over the events leading to the original Tea Party.

While it’s more important that Saturn is Stationary than that that it’s Stationary Retrograde, it’s worth our time to consider the Retrogradation as well.  The outer planets go retro every year; since we go round the Sun faster than they do, we pass them, so they appear to be receding from us, or moving backwards, for a while.  Saturn goes retro on January 25 at 18 degrees of Libra, and turns direct again on June 13 at 10 degrees of Libra.  Basically, a Saturn retrogradation in the center of Libra means that we’re reconsidering (Retrograde) how we use Boundaries (Saturn) in our relationships (Libra), or reconsidering how open we are to relationship – and our relationshit (the issues that relationship inevitably brings up).

In general, Libra eschews Boundaries, because Libra’s mission is to establish a harmonious connection.  Libra’s more about meeting you than about getting met.  To another sign that might be codependence; to Libra it’s integrity.  The central third of Libra, though, is the “Aquarius decanate” of Libra.  In the Aquarius decanate, Libra begins to put relationships into context, granting continued nonjudgment to relationships that meet an appropriate social/philosophical framework, and beginning to develop Boundaries with those that don’t.  The Boundaries are “primitive” – they’re more likely to be curiosity about motives than exclusionary.  In the first third of Libra, the Self is invisible; it’s all about Other.  By the second third, the Self begins to have some preferences.

The implication is that there are things we’ve been taking for granted, without realizing that we could express an opinion or have a preference or exert any healthy control.  The entire “Shadow Period” of a retrogradation begins when the planet first crosses the retrogradation zone.  Between October 23 and January 25, Saturn crossed this region going forward.  For each of us, issues about Boundaries or Contraction/Expansion may have arisen during this period.  During the retrograde span, we reconsider how we want to relate to these issues.  Then finally, from June 13 to September 18, Saturn crosses the region for a third time.  This is when we implement our reconsiderations, and act to set our new Boundaries.

So that feeling of having someone’s thumb pressing on the top of your head, if you feel it, could be accompanied by thoughts about how someone offended you, or how you gave someone too much benefit of the doubt, or how you need to make a change in your relationship with someone, or in your relationships in general – to be more accepting perhaps, or more assertive about making space for your own beliefs and values, or both.  The important issue here is Responsibility – ability to respond rather than react.  In other words, if you’re in Blame, you’re on the wrong path.  It’s never their fault.  It’s always How did I let that happen? It’s not what they did wrong, it’s How could I have set better Boundaries? If you’re dealing with anger or a feeling of oppression or feeling wounded, tap it out.

You want to release your emotional attachment in the privacy of your own Energy System, so you can respond dispassionately and fairly when you revise your Boundaries.  Remember the context – we’re adjusting to a new Identity in alignment with a New Soul Chord Download, and working out a Grand Cross (which is always about Balance) balancing new and old Identities with the direction of History/Herstory and our own Karmic path (that is, Juno, Jupiter-Uranus, Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes).  The elements of Grace are about the new paradigm that the Planet is moving into (fresh Violets in an ancient pottery bowl – Chiron-Neptune), or Miracles, and our own personal Values (Venus).  So it’s not about  burning bridges, it’s about laying the foundations for a whole new infrastructure.

Tearing Up (Over) the Mortgage

November 14, 2010

This coming Thursday is when both Venus and Jupiter turn direct, and a few days later Mars crosses Pallas.  While Venus is leaving Retreat, the more meaningful changes are probably when She rises as the Morning Star (last week), and when she finishes crossing the “Shadow Period,” that is, finishes moving forward across the space that she Retreated in.  That’s confusing.  Well, Venus was retrograde from 14 of Scorpio back to 28 of Libra.  That’s the spatial version of the Shadow Period.  But before Venus went retro, it moved forward across this minefield.  Not that there’s anything inherently more dangerous about the first half of Scorpio than any other half sign, but any retrogradation sets up opportunities for us to re-experience and re-lease our Karma.

Which is exactly what we do, we re-lease our Karma every time it comes up, till one day we finally get so tired of the treadmill that we just tear up the lease and move on.  We re-lease it cuz it’s The Devil We Know, but mostly cuz mosta the time we don’t even recognize it as our Karma, cuz we just think it’s somebody else doing something to us againI’m just stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again, as Bobby Z put it.  Minefield, in other words.

The temporal version of the Shadow Period is the time Venus takes to tippytoe across the minefield – this is the time when the Universe sets up the circumstances for the lessons that the retrogradation will offer.  In this case, it was September 5 through October 7.  Then the retrogradation spanned October 7 till this coming Thursday.  The retrogradation is actually a healing time – it’s when the issues that arose during the  Shadow Period (Shadow is the Jungian term for Karma, Unfinished Business, Held Emotion, Limiting Beliefs, Unconscious Demons, the contents of our PTSD, our “Shit,” or whatever ya wanna call it) get exposed for the Paper Tigers that they are – nothing Present Moment about it, it’s all just toxic fog steaming up the Emotional Body.

Of course, a lot of us define “Real” by our Emotions, and that’s every bit as valid as defining “Real” by consensus, or worse yet, by our Ideologies and Limiting Beliefs.  Jung used to say that “thinking” people (folks who give Thought more validity than Emotion) are irrational, because they don’t know their own Heart – since Emotion is the language of the Heart.  Without knowing their own Heart, they’re unable to make choices that further their own Values – irrational.  So there’s nothing Unreal about our Karma, it’s just not Present Moment in the Physical, till we make it so with our Expectations.  Never underestimate the power of Expectations.

Don’t wanna leave that thread hanging – divide Emotions into three components: Present Moment Emotions, Held Emotions, and Values.  Values – Meaning – is the language of the Heart.  It speaks through Emotion.  Held Emotions are those which hold us hostage, our Karma, Paper Tigers, as long as we don’t use Expectation (aka Unconscious Intention) to reincarnate them into the physical.  Present Moment Emotions are a whole nother animal.  They’re a  stream-of-consciousness technicolor movie, that have nothing to do with Attachment.  Very informative, a translation of our Intuition, when we can separate them from the other two.  The realm of true Empathy.

Okay, so Venus tiptoes across the soon-to-be-defined-as-a-minefield Shadow Period (Karma is triggered) before it turns retro (Karma is re-leased by our Victim, and/or the lease is torn up by our Master).  Then, once it goes direct again, it has to cross the Shadow Period space again.  So it’ll be the Solstice (more threads! – which we will leave dangling) before Venus shakes off this whole sordid affair, and moves freely again.  But the third crossing of the minefield, from Thursday through the Solstice, is the confidence-building phase.  An issue arises during the first crossing (the canopener) that we don’t know how to handle.  During the second crossing the issue arises again, but this time it happens in slow motion (the exposition), so we can figure it out.  Then during the third crossing, we encounter it again, and this time we know what to do with it (the confidence-builder)!

Now, how is it we avoid re-leasing our Karma and signing up for another two-year (or twenty-lifetime) contract?  Easy to describe, actually not that hard to do, but very difficult to remember to do, cuz our Karma has us hypnotized, and when it arises, we (our Consciousness) are seldom home.  Nature of the animal.  But if we do happen to wake up in the middle of a Karmic process,

focus on the verb.

Erase the prepositional object.  In other words, the usual template is They Didthat to Us. We’re Angry at them.  We’re Grieving about suchandsuch.  We’re Scared of that.  No, it’s not They Didthat to Us, it’s That happened.   It’s not We’re Angry at them, it’s I’m Angry.  Not We’re Scared of that, but I’m Scared.  Not We’re Grieving about that, but I’m Grieving.  Simple grammatical analysis.  I am Angry says, quite simply, I can’t distinguish my Self from the Emotion of Anger. Well, that’s pretty limiting, isn’t it.  We’d have a lot more of our skills available to us if we were also Green, and Tall, and Experienced, and Dressed, and any other adjective you can imagine, in addition to being Angry.  The Karmic part of the whole trance is the prepositional phrase at the end of the sentence – at them.  That’s what kidnaps our Conscious Self.

I’m Angry is simply very limiting, and most of us most of the time would simply choose to be a few other qualities as well.  In fact, most of us would rather have Anger than be it, because that leaves us a lot more space to live in.  But I’m Angry at them is a Karmic trance, and somebody’s gonna hafta tap us on the shoulder to wake us up, cuz otherwise we aint home.

Okay, that’s where Venus is.  The first half of Scorpio is about, from the Victim perspective, all of the Held Emotions that hold us back from enjoying our community and its fruits.  From the Master perspective, the first half of Scorpio is about Fearlessness.  Of course, people get hurt when they’re in trance and Fearless.  So the wakeup part is pretty important.  Then we can be Fearless about facing down the Paper Tigers and tearing up the lease.

The Jupiter?  Well, recall Uranus crossed into Aries recently, initiating a new 84-year cycle, and Jupiter crossed at the same time.  Uranus the Soul Chord, and Jupiter the Amplifier – in other words a huuuuge new download from our Individual Soul.  But then both Jupiter and Uranus went retro and backed back into Pisces.  From the Victim perspective, Pisces symbolizes the Karmic Trance itself.  So these Jupiter-Uranus retro adventures give us an additional opportunity to clean up our Unfinished Business so we can take max advantage of the whole new download.

Uranus doesn’t go direct until November 30.  Jupiter crosses Uranus again, with both planets direct, on January 4.  Jupiter re-enters Aries on January 22, and Uranus does the deed on March 11, 2011.  By then our new mission should be crystal clear.  Folks with birthdays in early March will be slung forward as if from a slingshot.

We also mentioned Mars-Pallas, this coming Sunday.  Mars is the God of War, and Pallas the Goddess of War, and of Wisdom.  Pallas asks questions first and shoots only when necessary.  Good Boundaries, in other words.  We’ll see some Boundaries (Pallas) get violated (Mars), but we’ll also see a lot of people using their Energy (Mars) constructively to create and maintain Good Boundaries (Pallas), on a global scale.

We didn’t mention Pluto-Dragon, on or about November 26.  You can think of Pluto as the inevitable, and Dragon as Karma itself.  Not Fate, by any means, because Fate/FreeWill is an intellectual distinction, and intellectual distinctions, barring excessive Expectation, occur only in the mind of the observer, not in hardcopy Reality.  Another series of Paper Tigers.  This Pluto is crossing the Dragon’s Head, not His Tail.  That means we’ll be dragged into the Future – the Dragon’s Head represents the Future, His Tail the Past.  More or less – they flip a lot, since Linear Time is only mass hypnosis, and All There Is Is Now.  Get ready for another long, emotional trip.  Good thing we know the difference between our Karma and a disturbance in the Force.

But an adventure with the Dragon’s Head is usually a lot more fun than one with the Dragon’s Tail, though the Head can be profoundly disorienting if we end up skipping a coupla years and a lot of transition.  So if you wake up one morning and have no idea where you are, you probably didn’t have a stroke.  You probably just tore up a coupla mortgage contracts on your Limiting Beliefs in yer dreams.  Recognize it, and enjoy the freedom.  If you don’t recognize it, you’ll go looking for ways to re-lease.  Sure, it’s scary out there, but just focus on the verb.  Good time to tap, eh?

A correspondent sent a link to a Martin-Luther-scale (not MLK, but ML hisself) observation about the state of the Planet –

It’s excellent.  He’s recommending continued Attachment, but read it with the Heart, and see if you can distinguish between your Held Emotions from your Present Moment Emotions.  Hint: you know your Held Emotions like the back of your Hand; your PM Emotions feel a little bit strange.  You won’t be graded, it’s just an exercise.  It’s always Both/And, remember.  The author downgrades the Spiritual to “just Magic” (snicker), but otherwise he’s spot on.  It’s not one or the other, it’s Both/And.  Both keep an eye on the erosion of your physical freedoms, and manage your Expectations carefully.